Meet guest Spotlight Kara Valentino Ffield ! Artist from Pensacola, Florida who expresses herself through painting.
Introduce yourself 🙂 Who you are, what you do.
I am Kara Valentino Ffield; an artist based out of Pensacola, Florida where I live with my three cats, Australian Shepherd, and my husband. I spend my days drawing, painting, and creating relief prints all of which are inspired by my daily life that I can only describe as “La Dolce Vita.”
What inspired you to be an artist?
I’m not sure that I had any one moment in which I stepped back and said “Aha. This is what I need to do.” Growing up I didn’t really consider being an artist a definitive career choice. While I knew this creativity and I were intertwined down to a molecular level I wasn’t entirely unsure it was only meant to be an asset for a traditional career path. You always hear “artists only sell work once they’re dead.” A bit of a damning statement to young aspiring artists. It wasn’t until I took the leap an decided to transfer from a graphic design program my freshman year into the BFA program that I started to see that you don’t have to make work in a hole (though I will admit to being a bit of a hermit) and then wait until your buried in one to have success.
You’re incredibly talented; did you take classes to learn different techniques?
I took one painting class in the sixth grade and I was too embarrassed to attend the small “show” the instructor put on that was to be complete with cookies and lemonade.
I doodled throughout childhood and sketched but never completed anything.
Always kept notebooks, journals, etc…felt like I wanted to tell a story of some sort, help people see things in the everyday through a more magical lens. I had this primal urge to create even though 90% of the time I have no clue what or how.
I still avoided any sort of training through high school, opting instead to take three years of traditional dark room photography.
Attended Auburn University concentrating in painting and printmaking (a class I really didn’t want to take but ended up taking as many classes as I could and becoming a Teaching Assistant/Shop Manager). I was a willing student. I wanted as much critique as I could get. I always want to know how to do something better and differently. For me, being in an academic environment nurtured not only my skills made me incredibly hungry and not in the sense of the “starving artist.”
How would you describe your art?
Wistful, questioning and a little dark; the daydreams of my romantic, idealist self.
What is your favorite part about what you do?
When I am so into my work that the rest of the world falls away. It is as though my thoughts are non-existent and my senses are on high-alert. I come to this place that seems magical. I am simply a creator. Making something out of nothing. It’s a meditative state, like what I put down on the canvas or paper comes from a whole other person and I am channeling it but then I take a step back and realize that it is me to the core. That’s what my artwork is, my core being in a tangible form.
Name some artists that inspire you.
- Marilyn Minter
- Jana Brike
- Natalia Fabia
- Kiki Smith
- Jose Guadalupe Posada
- Will Cotton
- Elizabeth Vigee Lebrun
Where can your art be purchased?
Etsy or commission – click here!
Do you have any advice for people who wish to become an artist?
Never stop trying to figure out who you are. Allow your passions to reveal themselves in your sketchbook. This is your safe place. Anything you feel compelled to collect is worthwhile and will teach you more about yourself.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Traveling to new places to collect more inspiration for my work.